Spectators were adorned in red, white, and blue for the Byram Township Memorial Day Parade
Photos by Mandy Coriston
BY MANDY CORISTON Byram — Memorial Day was cloudy and cool, but that didn’t stop Byram residents from marking Monday, May 28th as a day of remembrance with ceremony and celebration. The morning began with a flag ceremony at the Byram Veterans Memorial, outside the Roseville Schoolhouse at the Municipal Complex. Boy Scouts from Troop 276 in Byram presented the colors at half-staff after brief words from former mayor and VFW Post 10559 Commander Richard Bowe and current mayor Alex Rubenstein. Bowe spoke on the history of Memorial Day, reminding those in attendance, “If someone wishes you a happy Memorial Day, take a moment to tell them that this is a solemn day. This is a day we remember all who we’ve lost.” Following Bowe’s speech, current Byram Mayor Rubenstein acknowledged the other members of town leadership and the police officers in attendance. “Today is the day to keep our lost military members’ memory alive,” he said. Veterans and police officers offered a salute and others stood quietly as the scouts raised the American flag and the black POW-MIA flag to flank the stone memorial. The crowd at the memorial then dispersed to await the beginning of the parade, which staged at the firehouse on 206 and proceeded to the Cranberry Lake clubhouse. At 10:55 a.m., the commencement of the parade was announced with a short blast of the firehouse siren. A playing of the national anthem by the Lenape Valley Regional High School marching band preceded the raising of the firehouse flags to half-staff. Just after 11, Byram Township Police Chief Pete Zabita led off the procession with Bowe as his passenger of honor, followed by the marching band playing a selection of patriotic songs including ‘America the Beautiful’ and ‘You’re a Grand Old Flag.’ Parade participants included members and apparatus from the Byram Fire Department, the Mt. Olive Fire Department’s Budd Lake Co., Andover Township and Andover Borough Fire Departments, the Netcong Fire Department’s Hilltop Co., Stanhope Fire Department and Stanhope-Netcong Ambulance Squad, the New Jersey State Forest Fire Service, and the Lakeland Emergency Squad. Also marching in the parade were Boy Scouts from 3 area troops, including Troop 276’s color guard, as well as Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Brownies, and Daisies, and a small contingent of players and parents from the Hobb Engler Little League. A pair of Byram police cruisers and a pick-up truck bearing a large American flag took up the rear of the procession to signal the end of the parade. Following a wreath laying at Cranberry Lake, participants and spectators were invited back to the firehouse for light refreshments.